Global agribusiness giants Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) have announced they are scaling back their business activities in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, World Grain reported.

Cargill, one of Russia’s largest agribusiness investors, said in an 11 March statement that it would scale back its business activities and discontinue investments in the country while continuing to operate its food and feed facilities.

ADM, which has a smaller footprint in Russia, said on 14 March it would also scale back its operations.

US-based Cargill has a large presence in Russia, with about 2,500 employees and investments in grain and oilseed processing, animal feed, poultry processing and other businesses, according to the 11 March report, and is one of the largest non-Russian exporters of Russian wheat.

The company did not provide details about which activities would be scaled back, World Grain wrote.

“We have a long history in Russia, but now is a time like no other. As such, we are scaling back our business activities there and have stopped investment,” Cargill said. “We will continue to operate our essential food and feed facilities in Russia. Food is a basic human right and should never be used as a weapon. This region plays a significant role in our global food system and is a critical source for key ingredients in basic staples like bread, infant formula and cereal.”

US-based ADM has an arm of its WILD Flavors business in Russia and owns a 50% stake in Aston Foods and Food Ingredients, a sweeteners and starches business.

“Our footprint in Russia is very limited, and we have made the decision… to scale down operations in Russia that are not related to the production and transport of essential food commodities and ingredients. And we will of course continue to comply with all sanctions, laws and regulations,” ADM said in the statement. “We believe it is important to stand for what is right, which includes preventing further suffering by continuing to play our critical role in ensuring all people have access to the fundamental nutrition they need.”

With Ukraine and Russia together accounting for about 30% of world wheat exports and 20% of corn exports, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February has impacted global grain markets, the report said.

Of the world's four largest grain traders, only Louis Dreyfus Co (LDC), has publicly stated it is suspending operations in Russia. LDC operates a grain export terminal on the Azov Sea, with annual capacity of about 1M tonnes, and exports 1.5-3M tonnes/year in total from Russia, according to its website.

Bunge, which had recently been scaling back its Russian grain trading activities, suspended new exports from Russia on 10 March, World Grain wrote, but said it would continue its oilseed crushing operations.

Cargill, Bunge, ADM and LDC had suspended operations in Ukraine after the Russian invasion as the war had halted commercial shipping, the report said.